Despite one lawmaker’s hopes, online gambling legislation did not progress in the state of Michigan.
2017 has been a year of progress in the United States, despite only one state being able to pass legislation to offer online casino and poker gaming. Since 2013, only New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have been the only states to pass legislation to offer online gaming in the United States. Since that time, other states have been able to consider legislation, but no measures have moved forward, that is, until Pennsylvania decided to finally pass a gaming package just a few days ago. Along with Pennsylvania, there were other states in the mix with potential to pass legislation, including Michigan. However, Michigan was unable to see legislation move forward, before this week’s holiday.
Delay in Michigan
Representative Brandt Iden of Michigan was hoping that online gambling legislation would move forward in his state before the holiday this week. However, the Representatives bill was unable to progress in the short time frame that was left during the current session. Iden had told Online Poker Report that he hoped his bill, H 4926, would move forward before this week but unfortunately, it did not. During a recent public hearing, Iden had felt confident that there was a possibility that the bill would be able to progress.
The state will be back in session next week so there is a possibility still that online gaming will be able to move forward. However, it seems that lawmakers are still iffy about getting into the iGaming industry, despite Pennsylvania passing legislation and preparing to offer online options. The bill is currently sitting in the House Regulatory Reform Committee and this committee is not scheduled to meet at this time.
The Problems in Michigan
For every state that considers online gaming, there are always problems that stand in the way. For Michigan, the issues are that tribal gaming operators as well as commercial casinos seem to be leery as to how online gambling will work. Some are even questioning how online gaming will work with the current environment and legal landscape. Lawmakers will have to be able to create legislation that will work for everyone in the state, including tribal and commercial operators. They must also be able to agree as a whole as to what will be on offer.
2018 and Beyond
If Michigan is unable to pass legislation this year, there is of course 2018 to consider. It seems that Illinois is poised to act on creating online gambling legislation next year and other states may get in on the action as well. Pennsylvania will be acting on their online gambling legislation next year as well. It could be that other states see how Pennsylvania operates their new industry and decide to create their own legislation as well.
For this year, several states had legislation on the table in regards to daily fantasy sports, casino gaming, poker and even online lottery ticket sales. Michigan, Illinois and even other states like Hawaii, New York, etc. have looked at offering online games in some form or fashion. As New Jersey continues to see great success in offering casino and poker games online with major operators in the mix, and Pennsylvania passing legislation this year, it seems that the possibility for the United States iGaming industry to develop further is growing.
It will be interesting to see what develops next year and which state will be next to pass legislation, joining the four states that have now legalized online gaming in the US.